Michal was the youngest daughter of King Saul. She loved David. Michal was caught between a fierce struggle between the man she loved, David, and her father, king Saul. She was used by her father as a trap in hopes that David would be killed. David did not marry her out of love but to become the son in law of the king. Eventually that love of Michal turned to despising David.
1Samuel 18:10-28; 1 Samuel 19:10-17; 2 Samuel 6:16-23
1 Samual 14:49 tells us that Michal was the youngest daughter of King Saul. Michal had an older sister, Merab, and three older brothers. The oldest daughter of Saul was going to be given to David to wed. But it came to pass that she was given to another to marry.
Michal loved David. This pleased Saul because he had hoped that the marriage to David. Servants of Saul were sent to David in secret to tell him the king wanted him as a son in law. The dowry would be a hundred foreskins of the Philistines to avenge the king. David went out and slew the two hundred Philistines. Saul gave Michal his daughter to be the wife of David. Michal loved David. (1Samuel 18:10-28). When we look at the heart of David we see that he did not marry Michal out of love for her. He married Michal because it because “it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law.“ (I Samuel 18:26).
We have to understand that a dowry was a gift of property that the bride brought to her marriage. The dowry that Michal would bring to the marriage was she was the daughter of a king. This would mean social position and wealth. The bridegroom, David, in turn would pay a bride price to the father to compensate for the loss of his daughter. David paid two hundred Philistine foreskins to avenge the king. The marriage was doomed at the beginning. Saul only wanted the marriage to “snare David” then he could persuade David into fighting against the Philistines and Saul hoped they would kill David. Yet, Michal loved David and was given in marriage to him.
Saul was disappointed that at that point his plans to destroy David had failed. His daughter Michal loved David and was not snaring him and the Philistines did not kill David. Saul tried to kill David and threw a javelin at him. But David fled and escaped that night. Messengers were sent to the house of David and they were to kill him in the morning. Michal found out about the plot and told David and let David down through a window; and David fled and escaped. Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goat’s hair and covered it with a cloth. The image Michal used was teraphim, a family idol which was a kind of idol used in household shrine or worship. Michal tricked her father and deceived him by using the idol as a person. When the messengers sent by Saul came; Michal told them that David was sick. When Saul found out he accused Michal of deceiving him. (1 Samuel 19:10-17).
It makes one question why David did not take his wife with him. David must have known that his leaving would put Michal in jeopardy with her father. This is another indication that the marriage was for political gain on the part of David. There was another indication of the lack of love and concern for Michal when David took another wife during his years on the run. He was married to Ahinoam by the time he married Abigail. (1 Samuel 27: 3).
It was out of love for David that Michal went against her father, the king, and saved the life of her husband David. She was willing to defy her father and willing to pay the consequences for her action. This took courage and strength to help David. David was a fugitive and on the run for his life. Michal was left behind and King Saul wasn’t happy that Michal had deceived him. 1 Samuel 25:44 tells us that Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.
The next time we hear about Michal is after the death of Saul and his three sons. David had been anointed King over the house of Judah (2 Samuel 2:4). Later 2 Samuel 3:13-14 tells us that David did try to get Michal back. David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul’s son, saying, “Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines.” Again we see that the only reason David requested Michal be returned to him on his threshold of being crowned king was to guarantee the support of the house of Saul house. (2 Samuel 3:13-15).
This again points out that David was using Michal as a political pawn. David had been king over Judah for more than seven years and had four wives before he demanded Michal be returned to him. This brings up the question why he would summon Michal after so many years had passed. Why didn’t David allow Michal to be happy with her present husband?
So now Michal was taken from her husband to be given back to David. It can be assumed that Michal must have loved Phaltiel, her husband because it says that he went with her weeping until he was sent back. David had deserted her and she was given to Phaltiel and Michal must have loved him and forgot about the heart ache of David.
David was anointed King over Israel. When King David brought the ark of the LORD into the city of David he was seen leaping and dancing before the LORD. Michal despised him in her heart. Michal came out to meet David and reprimanded him for uncovering himself in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants. And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before your father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD. Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death. (2 Samuel 6:16-23).
Michal gave her love to David in the beginning only to have that love not returned. Then after displeasing her father, being deserted by her husband she had to have the sense of not belonging. Not belonging to her husband and not belonging to her father. Then she was given to another man who must have showed true affection for her before she was torn away at the whim of David. Again there must have been a reminder of her not belonging. David was a man after the LORD’s own heart and Michal was the daughter of a dead king.
Michal was caught between a fierce struggle between the man she loved, David, and her father, king Saul. She was used by her father as a trap in hopes that David would be killed. David did not marry her out of love but to become the son in law of the king. Eventually that love of Michal turned to despising David.
Michal was caught between two men she loved, her father and David. Because of envy in the end she lost both men. King Saul was envious of David because he had the blessings of the LORD. David was envious of Saul because he was king. Like most women Michal just wanted to be loved.
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MLA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne “Michal the Daughter of Saul:.” Becker Bible Studies Library Jan 2015.< https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2001,>.
APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015, January) “Michal the Daughter of Saul:.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2001,.
Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015) “Michal the Daughter of Saul:.” Becker Bible Studies Library (January), https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2001, (accessed).